What started as a fairy tale became an addiction to a world of fantasy…

Her hair blew in the cool breeze of dusk as she played for a while before her mother called her in for the evening. Her laughter caught on the wind and echoed softly through the trees. Childhood – full of fantasies and dreams – filled her heart and mind. She knew her father would be home anytime now. He would sweep her up into his big arms and kiss her soft cheek and all would remain right with her world. Her white knight was home again. And the castle was safe.

As she played and laughed, ran and pondered, her young mind relished in its beautiful world. The kingdom was secure. The princess was safe. As dusk turned into nightfall she concluded her day as her head rested on her soft pillow ready for dreams to carry her away until morning.

Day after day, she lived in her wonderful world. Year after year, she watched as God created anew each beautiful moment. There were tears and fears, but all was right with her little world. All was right until the day she found out her white knight had lost his job. As a senior in high school, she now faced a mountain of financial obstacles she simply had not known before. Then a few months later came the day her mother sat her and her brother down to let them know she and their father would be separating. Kristin’s world began caving in on itself.

The mystery novels that had been a big part of her world began to give way to a new mystery – the mystery of love and romance. It was a world where there were always happy endings. Two would-be lovers would navigate through their own inhibitions until they passionately embraced their desire for one another and wake up in each other’s arms to their happy ending. Love was equated with passion and sexual desire. Beauty became the standard by which everyone was measured. Grappling with real-life issues seldom, if ever, littered the pages of this fantasy world. Men were handsome and passionate. Women were beautiful and winsome. All problems were solved as desire melted into passion. This became Kristin’s world. There was no necessity to grapple with the issues of the disappointing everyday world around her.

As a college student, she would design her class schedule, her relationships, and her responsibilities to carve out time for the world where she could retreat to happy endings and dreams of passionate fantasy. She was unaware of the isolation she brought on herself, and she disregarded the distance it exacerbated in her relationship with God. She now only believed that He was – but the coldness between them was strangely acceptable. She had her fantasy world of passion and desire populated by problems easily solved by giving into temptation.

When her Almighty Lover orchestrated a move to Franklin, Tennessee, she had no idea how His love for her would turn her world right-side-up. She could not imagine that the circumstances into which she walked would place her firmly in the grasp of the One who loved her before she knew Him – who died for her guilt and sin before she breathed her first breath. She was on a journey to the greatest love she could ever experience.

The princess found herself in a new town, with a new job. The job came quickly to keep her here where the Great King wanted her. Yet, the journey was only beginning. She searched for peace in the real world, while clinging desperately to her fantasy world in one after the other romance novel. Then came the breaking. The job went away. The money became scarce. She began to look for the Great King, the God to whom she had covenanted long ago. She knew she needed Him. In those days of breaking she came to know He was the only one she truly needed.

In her searching for a church home, she finally arrived at a worship gathering called ‘Awakening,’ and felt something she’d been missing all along. A little while later she found Grace Church, a bit unusual, but like the elusive “home” she’d been longing for. Her covenant with the Great King came into full view during a message in which the Holy Spirit allowed her to see herself in the mirror of Himself and she knew she had long ago broken what should never be broken and accepted what was worthless in its place.

The young adults group at her new church home became the catalyst God used to break the power of her sin and restore what she was only beginning to understand had been sacrificed to the idol of desire. She discovered love is wanting to be pursued in the way God designed… lovingly, going beyond the physical appearance, through the good and the bad. It is commitment, and it’s also covenant. You stay true to that covenant no matter what. When the searching princess first shared her deep secrets, she was astounded to find love and compassion. She discovered the love that the Great King had made available to restore her soul.

When she submitted to His great love and plan, she experienced the gift of the Holy Spirit surging and springing to life within her thirsty soul. From great guilt she now knew forgiveness. From oceans of shame, she was made clean by the cleansing stream from the cross of Jesus Christ who had given Himself for her. He was the One who would never leave, who would never disappoint. Her timidity would soon be replaced by boldness for the true love of her life – the Great God and King Himself.

The princess knew her story must be told, so she began with the queen she had kept in the dark. Expecting every possible negative result, she was amazed to find instead a love and understanding that further assured her that the Great King had already been preparing the way before her. He had loved her with a love that would not let her go. The love of her beloved queen proved to be the unexpected love of the Great King poured out before her. She was amazed once again by His grace and mercy.

She looks now for the one True Love who stretched out His arms on Calvary’s cross. He will provide all she needs. She has placed her trust in Him and He will guide her every step. He will prepare the way before her. She is confident He will lead her where He wills and she gladly awaits His timing and His plan. Now the princess looks into the mirror of Him who is the Almighty and sees no longer a shame-filled disappointment, but the woman He has longed for her to become.

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